Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week
There’s rumours of a “Santa-Bomb” storm a’comin’… but don’t let it keep you from seeing some theatre this week! It’s Christmas, after all! If you want to see what’s playing, see our list below. Anything with two asterisks and highlighted in red comes highly recommended by our Editor, Mike.
By Gian Verano
Super Fun Christmas Sing-A-Long is a Toronto Holiday Tradition with Legs — and Booze
What’s Christmas without a few good carols?
Taking the stage for a third year in a row, married couple Sharron Matthews and George Masswohl belt out all the holiday classics in their perennially popular spectacular, Sharron and George’s Super Fun Christmas Sing-A-Long.
Toronto’s Beerprov Blends Two Of Our Favourite Things
BeerProv is an improv comedy competition where someone gets voted off the stage each round and the funniest performer of the night wins a prize. I attended the December 2014 edition and the deck was stacked that night as they had “special guest” Colin Mochrie competing. I don’t think anyone expected one of the younger and lesser known performers to win against Mochrie’s wealth of experience, but they each made a valiant effort. The prize is just an opportunity to drink a beer from the “BeerProv Mug of Champions”, so I don’t think any of the contestants were too bent out of shape about the odds. The large cast of comedians kept the crowd happy and laughing all night. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dana Ewachow
The cast from Beggar’s Canyon did fine work pairing Star Wars with Christmas, on stage at Toronto’s Comedy Bar
I was anxious to see Beggar’s Canyon’s sketch comedy performance of Star Wars on Christmas. I was anxious because this was not the first time I have encountered the strange combination of Star Wars and Christmas. I have had the misfortune of seeing The Star Wars Holiday Special, which is widely regarded as an unspeakable taint on the entire franchise. I decided to ignore my past mistakes and give the show a try, since it is Christmas-time and everyone is still losing their minds over the teaser trailer for the newest Star Wars installment.
The show at Comedy Bar was surprisingly light on the Star Wars content, even with a group named Beggar’s Canyon. There were only two sketches about the movies. The group The Rocket Scientists did a quick sketch mocking the fickle mob-mentality of Star Wars fans. The second sketch by Beggar’s Canyon was a clever way to twist the franchise into a religious prayer. I thought this sketch hit home. I have met far too many people who would praise the Jedi with the same reverence as Jesus.
By Megan Mooney
Venus in Fur returns to the Toronto Stage for its final remount at Canadian Stage
When I heard that Canadian Stage was doing another remount of David Ives’s Venus In Fur, I was giddy. The last two times this production was in Toronto, something had always managed to get in the way of me seeing it. When I read that this was the final remount and the last time I’d get to see Rick Miller and Carly Street reprise these roles under the direction of Jennifer Tarver, I knew I had to see it.
In this play-within-a-play, Thomas, played by Rick Miller, has adapted the 1870 novella Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (a bit of trivia: the term ‘masochist’ is derived from his name) for the stage. Vanda, played by Carly Street, has come to audition for one of the lead roles. As Thomas reads lines with Vanda the piece does far more than explore the translation of a classic work, it explores timeless power struggles, feelings of desire, and, of course, the feelings of guilt and regret that go along with them.
By Vance Brews
Seven Harry Potter books in 70 hilarious minutes, Potted Potter is on stage at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre
Well, honestly, it doesn’t. Not exactly, at least. If you’re looking for an in depth analysis of J.K. Rowling’s famous series about the Boy Who Lived, Potted Potter isn’t going to give it to you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an evening of sheer family friendly fun with Harry Potter trappings, you’re in for a real treat. Originally from the Edinburgh Fringe festival in Scotland, written and performed by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the production has come to Toronto with a new cast and all of the energy that earned it an Olivier award in 2012.
A Christmas party gone awry lights up Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works in Theatre Columbus’ The Dog and the Angel
What exactly is the point of Christmas when your yearly party turns into a disaster, you find out the family dog destroyed your heirloom tree-topper angel, and your husband has never heard of glue? Theatre Columbus’s The Dog and the Angel by Martha Ross takes its audience through an evening of emotional chaos in the site-specific location of Evergreen Brick Works.
Rozel (Jennifer Villaverde) discovers her husband Barker (Courtenay Stevens) disposed of her family’s angel after it gets torn up by the dog. She goes on a quest to retrieve the tree-topper from the dump. Meanwhile her daughter tries to take the ailing dog to the veterinarian. Rozel’s parents Sampson (Paul Rainville) and Claire (Leah Cherniak) follow along in an attempt to help.
Live shows for $25 or less
Happy Hannukah, folks! Why not celebrate the Festival of Lights (or the holiday season in general!) with some Cheap Theatre? This week’s shows include a few holiday themed shows, including a drag show, improv show and sketch show. But there are also some non-holiday shows, including a family friendly puppet show and a sci-fi radio play. And all of the shows are available for $25 or less!
Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week
You know the drill! There’s a lot of theatre going on in Toronto – and you don’t need me to tell you that a lot of it is holiday themed. Take a gander below and see if anything strikes your fancy! Anything highlighted in red with two asterisks before it is highly recommended by our Acting Managing Editor, Samantha.
By Sam Mooney
Discounted Toronto Theatre Tickets
Some theatre companies in Toronto offer discounted PWYC and Rush tickets for certain performances. It’s a great way to see more theatre in Toronto. Or to see something different without investing a lot of money.
Some theatre companies have special programs for young theatre-goers – usually aimed at people between 21 and 30. You can find these on the theatre website. There are also usually senior and student prices, also on the website.
Every Tuesday Mooney on Theatre posts a curated list of cheap theatre in Toronto – shows with tickets that cost $25.00 or less. If you subscribe you’ll get email updates of our reviews and recommendations.
Yay, now you can afford to see more theatre in Toronto!
The list is a work in progress. If you know of another theatre that has discounted tickets send us the link to the ticket price page on their website and we’ll add it. Or leave it in the comments. Read the rest of this entry »